Cleveland police officer takes own life, coroner confirms
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cleveland police officer died by suicide Thursday evening, an official with the Lorain County Coroner’s office said.
The coroner said the cause of death for Officer Nick Sabo, 39, was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
He was found dead in his North Ridgeville home, added the coroner.
“We are in shock of the news of the passing of Officer Nick Sabo,” Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer said. “He was a great officer and friend. Our hearts our heavy today with the amount of loss we are feeling.”
Patrol Officer Sabo came to the Division of Police in April of 2013 after serving as a Perry County Sheriff’s Deputy.
He is survived by his wife and children.
“I want to extend my personal condolences and condolences on behalf of the City of Cleveland to the family, not only the Cleveland Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty but also to the loved ones of the officer who died by suicide last evening,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson.
Sabo’s death comes hours after Cleveland Police Det. James Skernivitz was shot and killed in the line of duty in the area of W. 65th Street and Storer Avenue around 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3rd.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said Sabo came to the police department from another police department in Ohio because he wanted to work for the city of Cleveland.
Williams said they are not releasing at this time if Sabo and Skernivitz worked together.
Rachel Tellings was a friend of Sabo’s. She said “his personality was very bubbly. He always had a smile on his face. We always talked about law enforcement.” She said “the friendship I had with him was just joyful. He gave so much. He always talked about his children.” Sabo leaves behind a wife and two young daughters. “He was so passionate about his children and his wife,” said Tellings.
Gary Wolske President of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio said the family “[needs] to know the prayers of every law enforcement officer in Ohio is with them.” Wolske said this is the second police officer to die by suicide in Cleveland this year. “What law enforcement officers and dispatchers deal with every day is something a normal person only sees once or twice in their life. It affects you because everyone’s family, It doesn’t matter if you’re a Cleveland police officer, Cuyahoga Heights, or where, if someone dies in the line of duty it really plays on you.”
He said a lot of officers don’t talk about it and often feel like they have nowhere to turn. But added “if you’re having a problem you need to reach out to somebody because there certainly is plenty of help out there.”
The F.O.P. has resources available to all first responders. The number is 800-367-6524
Ohio has a system allowing people in stressful situations to text counselors for help, day or night.
Text the keyword “4hope” to 741741 to speak with a volunteer counselor.
If you want to talk to a counselor over the phone, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
You can volunteer to work with the help line at crisistextline.org.
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